This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
Kafir boom, Oomsinsi, or Limsootsi weight, 38 lb.; wood, soft and light; the grain open and porous; splits easily; and is used principally for roof shingles, owing to its not being liable to take fire.
Oliven hout, Wild olive, or Kouka weight, 60 lb.; cost of working, 2.0; wood of small size, and generally decayed at the heart; used for fancy turnery, furniture, etc.
Saffraan hout weight, 54 lb.; wood strong and tough; used for farm purposes.
Sneezewood, Nies hout, or Oomtata weight, 68 lb.; cost of working, 3.0; most durable and useful timber, resembling satinwood; very full of gum or resin resembling guaiacum; bums like caudlewood; invaluable for railway sleepers, piles, etc, as it is almost imperishable, and is very useful for door and sash sills or similar work; difficult to be procured of large scantling.
Stinkwood, Cape mahogany, or Cape walnut weight, 53 lb.; cost of working, 1.6; resembles dark walnut in grain; is used for furniture, gun-stocks, etc.; while working, it emits a peculiar odour; stands well when seasoned; usually to be obtained in planks 10-16 in. wide and 4 in. thick; there are one or two varieties which are inferior; for furniture, it should be previously seasoned by immersing the scantlings, sawn as small as possible, in a sand bath heated to about 100° F. (38° C).
Yellow-wood, Geel hout, or Oomkoba weight, 40 lb.; cost of working, 1.35; one of the largest trees that grows in the Cape, and often found upwards of 6 ft. in diameter; the wood is extensively used for common building purposes; it warps much in seasoning, and will not stand exposure to the weather; the colour is a light-yellow, which, with the grain, resembles lancewood; it shrinks in length about 1/60 part; it has rather a splintery fracture, which makes it very unsafe for positions where heavy cross strains may be expected; for flooring, it does well, but should be well seasoned and laid in narrow widths; planks up to 24 in. wide can be got, but 12-in. ones are more general; it suffers much loss in conversion, owing to twisting; when very dry, it is apt to split in nailing; and is subject to dry-rot if not freely ventilated.
Willow or Wilge boom weight, 38 lb.; this wood, which grows along the banks of rivers, is of little value, as it is soon destroyed by worms; but is used where other timber is scarce; makes good charcoal.